Elk County residents proud of their namesake animal
ELK COUNTY — It's almost impossible to find a cell phone signal in the heart of Pennsylvania's elk country, and I'm quite certain the elk prefer it that way. I get the feeling the people who live here like it, too.
This fall, as the elk begin ratcheting up activity during peak rutting season, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is commemorating its 100th anniversary to restore the state's elk population.
Historically, elk were plentiful in the Northeast, but by the late 1800s, Pennsylvania's herds had been decimated. Legions of elk were depleted for nearly 50 years until the game commission reintroduced the species. From 1913 to 1926, 177 elk were released into the wild. Their descendants thrive today because of the relentless conservation of habitat and people's willingness to protect the elk.
Locals seem to warmly tolerate the attention this time of the year brings. Visitors clamor, mostly on the weekends, to catch a glimpse of a large bull bugling as he saunters through a luminous field of goldenrod. Each echoing trumpet is a signal to females that seek the loudest, most persistent males. Witnessing the elk strive to perpetuate their species reveals the complex and enduring connection the elk have with this land.
So if you find yourself visiting Elk County, follow some simple advice: Don't worry about your cell phone, keep a safe distance and appreciate an unforgettable look into the wilds of Pennsylvania that stretches back hundreds of years.
Sean Stipp is a photographer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Upper St. Clair lifeguard ordered to stand trial for rape of female lifeguard
- Downtown Pittsburgh Macy’s donates bits of history
- Founder of Operation Safety Net in Pittsburgh named one of CNN’s 2015 Top 10 Heroes
- Siblings sue over gas rights in Jefferson Hills land parcel
- North Hills transit service limits lamented
- Police looking for man who sexually assaulted Squirrel Hill woman
- Former Pittsburgh mayoral candidate sentenced to prison for bogus 911 calls
- Allegheny County Sheriff’s deputies apprehend one of county’s ‘most wanted fugitives’
- Bishop Zubik visits Mooncrest Community Center
- Former employee at Plum home-building firm charged with embezzling nearly $200K
- Pittsburgh’s North Shore traffic gets critical look